Beaver Dam Apartment Complex Advances Despite Objections By Fire Chief

(Beaver Dam) A new residential apartment complex on the north side of Beaver Dam is moving forward despite objections about resident safety from the fire chief. The city’s Plan Commission Wednesday signed-off on the 82-unit multi-family project by developer Steven Foote. Fire Chief Alan Mannel expressed concerns in light of a recent rollback of a mandate that had required sprinklers in all multifamily buildings of three or more units. Mannel advocated for sprinklers noting the added stress it puts upon fire and rescue personnel when sprinkler systems are not present. Over the last three years, Beaver Dam has had five apartment fires resulting in 20 injuries, three fatalities, and 57 families being displaced.  Mannel suggested that the city should reconsider approval of all multifamily units. The current property owner is represented by realtor Robert Ballweg who said the chief’s comments are (quote) “of no significance.” Current state statute only requires automatic sprinklers be installed in buildings with 20 or more units or over 16-thousand square feet in size. The proposed development still requires approval by the Beaver Dam Town Board and the Beaver Dam City Council.